Dr. Maitreyi S. Rajala

Dr. Maitreyi S. Rajala
Assistant Professor
Ph: +91 11 26738752
Email: msrajala@mail.jnu.ac.in;  gmaitri@yahoo.com


Ph.D. (Medical Virology), AIIMS and University of Delhi, New Delhi.
M. Sc. (Botany), Andhra University, Vishakhapatnam, AP.


Assistant Professor, School of Biotechnology, JNU, New Delhi
Scientific Officer D, Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital, Mumbai.
Post Doctoral Fellow- International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi
Post Doctoral Fellow- Dean McGee Eye Institute, Oklahoma University of Health Sciences Centre, Oklahoma, USA
Research Associate, National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi

Area of Interest: Molecular Virology:

  • Host and Virus protein interactions
  • Development of recombinant viruses as cancer therapeutic

Summary of Research:

Host-virus protein interactions:: Influenza A virus is a common respiratory pathogen and remains as a public health threat worldwide. Emergence of a new influenza virus strain in future is inevitable as the segmented composition of its genome allows re-assortment of segments between different strains. As most of the available anti influenza viral drugs are against surface glycoproteins and mounting resistance against available drugs highlights the need of effective antivirals based on stable drug targets. Our focus is on influenza A virus nucleoprotein (NP), an internal protein conserved among the strains isolated from different hosts. We are working on interaction of viral NP and M1 with host factors and the regulatory role of interactions in virus replication, glycolysis and ROS/antioxidant balance in cell during infection.

Virotherapy: : Conventional anti-cancer regimen of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and targeted therapies has limitations such as severe systemic side effects, narrow therapeutic index, non-specificity and non-availability of drugs for all types which resulted in the development of various novel and targeted approaches. Use of virus for cancer therapy gained much interest in the recent past. Viruses can be rewired and reprogrammed to selectively kill cancer cells sparing normal cells. Our lab is working on development of oncolytic measles virus to specifically target breast cancer cells and manipulation of virus to increase its oncolytic activity by inserting foreign genes with known functions hypothetically tumor suppression.


  • Junior Best Paper Award in XXII National Congress of Indian Association of Medical Microbiologists, 1988, India

Recent Publications::

  1. Lal G, Rajala MS. Combination of oncolytic measles virus armed with BNiP3, a pro-apoptotic gene and paclitaxel induces breast cancer cell death. 2019. Front. Oncol. 8:676, doi: 10.3389/fonc.2018.00676.
  2. Lal G, Rajala MS. Recombinant viruses with other anti-cancer therapeutics: a step towards advancement of oncolytic virotherapy. Cancer gene therapy.2018, DOI:10.1036/s41417-018-0018-1
  3. Kumar D, Tiwari K, Rajala MS. Analysis of A549 cell proteome alterations in response to recombinant Influenza A virus nucleoprotein and its interaction with cellular proteins, a preliminary study. Acta virologica; 2017. 61: 56 - 65, doi: 10.4149/av_2017_01_56.
  4. Kumar D, Broor S, Rajala MS. Interaction of Host Nucleolin with Influenza A Virus Nucleoprotein in the Early Phase of Infection Limits the Late Viral Gene Expression. PLoS ONE; 2017. 11(10):e0164146. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0164146
  5. Inam A, Mittal S, Rajala MS, Avecilla F, Azam A. Synthesis and biological evaluation of 4-(2-(dimethylamino) ethoxy) benzohydrazide derivatives as inhibitors of Entamoeba histolyica. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry; 2016. 124: 445-455
  6. Zaidi SL, Mittal S, Rajala MS, Avecilla F, Husain M, Azam A. Synthesis, characterization and antiamoebic activity of chalcones bearing N-substituted ethanamine tail. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 2015. 98: 179e189.
  7. Kamath A, Joseph AM, Gupta K, Behera D, Jaiswal A, Dewan R, Rajala MS. Proteomic analysis of HEK293 cells expressing non small cell lung carcinoma associated epidermal growth factor receptor variants reveals induction of heat shock response. Experimental Hematology & Oncology. 2015. 4:16.

Research Projects:

Completed Projects
  • Detection of mutations on tyrosine kinase domain of epidermal growth factor receptor and mutant EGFR driven molecular mechanism in lung cancer. ICMR, 5/13/94/ 2008- NCD- III

  • Identification of host cellular proteins interacting with influenza A viral nucleoprotein and their role in the regulation of viral replication. ICMR, VIR/15/2011-ECD-1

  • Modulation of host cell metabolisms by influenza A virus (swine flu) nucleoprotein. UPOEII, ID56
Ongoing Projects
  • A study on host cellular nucleolin and virus nucleoprotein interplay in influenza A virus infection. DBT, BT /PR28269/MED/29/1289/2018

  • Role of influenza A virus structural proteins; Nucleoprotein and Matrix protein in the regulation of host cell glycolysis. ICMR/2019-1286, 2019

  • Construction of recombinant viruses and their use as cancer therapeutics